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NEWS | June 11, 2024

Army Reserve infantry unit participates in Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Exportable (JPMRC-X) in the Philippines

By Staff Sgt. Thomas Moeger 196th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

In the heart of Fort Magsaysay, Philippines, U.S. Army Soldiers from Echo Company, 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, dove into the Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center-Exportable (JPMRC-X) exercise, adopting roles as opposing forces (OPFOR) for Exercise Salaknib 2024. From June 1 to June 10, they lent their expertise to the intricate maneuvers unfolding in central Luzon.

For the 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit steeped in history, this wasn't just another training exercise. They stand as the sole infantry battalion within the Army Reserve, a distinction that adds weight to their contributions.

“My battalion is one of the most decorated units for its size,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Patrick Calilung, Echo Company commander. “During World War II, the determination and the actions of the original members of the 100th Battalion garnered them the motto ‘Go For Broke’.”

Originally comprising Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland, the 100th Infantry Battalion distinguished themselves in the European theater. Their motto, borrowed from Hawaiian gambling slang, encapsulated their ethos of risking everything for a chance at victory.

Today, their ranks span the U.S. Army Pacific region, with Soldiers stationed in Guam, Saipan, and Hawaii, carrying forward the spirit of their predecessors. This spirit animated their participation in JPMRC-X, where they assumed the mantle of OPFOR.

“As part of JPMRC-X/Salaknib, we provided a company of OPFOR along with our counterparts, the 5th Scout Rangers of the Philippine Army,” said Calilung. “Together, we were the OPFOR for the 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.”

The 100th Infantry Battalion's cunning tactics tested the 25th Infantry Division, making every objective a hard-won victory. Through rigorous training and immersive learning experiences, they gleaned insights into the nuances of the exercise, honing their skills in a dynamic environment.

“Being able to go country to country and train with other military forces is a great deal for us,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Norman De Los Reyes, an infantryman assigned to Echo Company. “Sharing the experience, the knowledge and being able to understand the terrain helps us in our battalion to apply it when we do real life missions.”

Amidst the rigorous maneuvers of the JPMRC-X exercise, the 100th Infantry Battalion seized every opportunity to showcase their mettle. With strategic finesse and unwavering determination, they consistently outmaneuvered their adversaries, earning respect and admiration from fellow participants.

“It’s a great training opportunity away from Hawaii, which is the place we usually train at,” said Calilung. “I think for my battalion, this exercise has been significant and beneficial. It kind of shows that even though we're Army Reserve, we can still train and compete with the other components and other national armies.”